What if I said to you that reading could be bad for your mental well being? Would you believe me? Yet books are addictive, they talk about theories which we base our reality around as though they are facts; they constantly lie to us about worlds and characters that don’t really exist; they tell of depressing, upsetting stories which we may never have been affected by otherwise. It’s well known a good book can make your eyes blurry and your thoughts explode. The contradictory facts, figures and opinions inside have even been known to cause confusion on the brain for some but most of all, beware that reading can make your children repeatedly ask WHY?
I’m not trying to create my own conspiracy theory here but I am hoping to demonstrate that it’s not always what is in the book that is good for us; it’s how we react to it, use it and question it. It’s the power a book gives us as individuals to exercise our free thinking. Think about the alternative. For instance when the Nazi party ordered the burning of certain books during the 1930’s they were attempting to control how much information the layman had access to; to limit awareness and segregate nations; prevent the people from writing about the truth or opposing ideologies.
Teaching our children to read and write gives them the tools to question and question then question again. They can investigate a topic of interest, read alternative views; see emotions put into words; draw from people with first hand experiences; learn to make their own judgements and not take everything at face value. It is then that they are better equipped to follow their own route to understanding the world.
WARNING: reading books may be hazardous to your health. Side effects may include extreme laughter; uncontrollable thinking; deep emotional reactions and unexpected changes of opinion.